Lead SALead SA

The Unstoppable Julia Norrish

One thing's for sure, South Africa is anything but short of extraordinary people doing great things.

If you needed proof hereof, you could start with our monthly Heroes and Youth Heroes, ordinary South Africans who live our message of active citizenship and making a difference.

You could also be inspired by our Future Leaders, two groups of young change-makers who we believe will and do already lead South Africa.

Or, you could scroll through the Mail&Guardian's 200 Young South Africans, an annual list celebrating the country's finest young people.

Julia Norrish, a change-maker from Cape Town, carries all three accolades - February Lead SA Hero, Lead SA/GIBS Future Leader, and now, one of the Mail&Guardian's 200 Young South Africans.


At just 22-years-old, Julia is a celebrated student at the University of Cape Town and heads up its largest society, SHAWCO Education.

Having already worked for a year as a SHAWCO Education Project Leader running a literacy-based initiative for 90 children twice a week in Nyanga, she was then chosen to be the President of all thirteen Education projects.

Despite the complete voluntary nature of her work, how much time and effort it takes and how many sacrifices she has made, Julia continues to give her all to enhancing the education of young people in South Africa in the hopes of inspiring an informed and driven next generation.

And all this whilst completing her Honours in English Literature.

"If you love the things you do and you want to see something get done, you will," said Julia during an interview with 567 CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies.

So what does the future hold for this incredible Lead SA ambassador?

"I want to do two internships around Early Childhood Literacy and then, I want to study a Masters in Education in France, hopefully on a bursary. They are really good if you tell them how you are going to plough it back into South Africa," she said.

Julia then plans to return to South Africa, better informed as to how she can help turn the education system around.

And with her track record, we have no doubt that she'll achieve this, playing her part in helping South Africa reach its full potential.

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